Interlinguistic conflict: Word-word Stroop with first and second language colour words


Journal Article


Šaban, I., Schmidt, J. R.




Interlinguistic conflict: Word-word Stroop with first and second language colour words

Journal / Livre / Conférence

Cognitive Processing


The congruency (or Stroop) effect is a standard observation of slower and less accurate colour identification to incongruent trials (e.g., “red” in green) relative to congruent trials (e.g., “red” in red). This effect has been observed in a word-word variant of the task, when both the distracter (e.g., “red”) and target (e.g., “green”) are colour words. The Stroop task has also been used to study congruency effect between two languages in bilinguals. The typical finding is that the congruency effect for L1 words is larger than that for L2 words. For the first time, the present report aims to extend this finding to a word-word variant of the bilingual Stroop task. In two experiments, French monolinguals performed a bilingual word-word Stroop task in which target word language, language match, and congruency between the distracter and target were manipulated. The critical manipulation across two experiments concerned the target language. In Experiment 1, target language was manipulated between groups, with either French (L1) or English (L2) target colour words. In Experiment 2, target words from both languages were intermixed. In both experiments, the congruency effect was larger when the distracter and target were from the same language (language match) than when they were from different languages (language mismatch). Our findings suggested that this congruency effect mostly depends on the language match between the distracter and target, rather than on a target language. It also did not seem to matter whether the language-mismatching distracter was or was not a potential response alternative. Semantic activation of languages in bilinguals and its implications on target identification are discussed.






word-word Stroop, bilingualism, target language, congruency, language match


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